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  PentaTone Classics -
  PTC 5186 151 (2 discs)
  Brahms: Piano Quartets - Beaux Arts Trio/Trampler
  Brahms: Piano Quartets Nos. 1-3 Opp. 25, 26 & 60

Beaux Arts Trio
Walter Trampler (viola)
Track listing:
  Classical - Chamber
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 3

Reviews: 2

Site review by Polly Nomial March 28, 2006
Performance:   Sonics:    
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Review by seth March 23, 2006 (7 of 9 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Brahms' First Piano Quartet is one of the all-time great pieces of chamber music, up there with Schubert's "Trout" Quintet and Mendelssohn's Octet. Each movement is filled with memorable themes and colorful interplay between the instruments to the point that the movements can stand on their own, none more so than the final movement. As a result, competition is pretty stiff as every great pianist has teamed up with a string quartet to record the work (but in this case it's viola and piano trio). It's hard to find any fault with the thoughtful interpretation or playing, but my personal preference lies more to Perahia and the Amadeus Quartet's ruthless precision. As for the two other quartets, I am not that familiar with them, but found the performances to be engaging, and I have enjoyed getting to know the pieces better.

I had high expectations for the recorded sound and cannot help but feel a little letdown. Despite these being new DSD transfers struck from the master tapes, when compared to other analog and digital recordings of the quartets, there simply seems to be a layer of detail missing. Further problematic, is that the instruments, especially the piano, have a *slight* dullness to them. Besides that, the sound is spacious, with a good dynamic range, and almost no tape hiss.

SACD or not, this is a fairly strong set of the Brahms Piano Quartets; I suspect the value will be greatly enhanced for multi-channel listeners. Recommended.

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Works: 3  

Johannes Brahms - Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25
Johannes Brahms - Piano Quartet No. 2 in A major, Op. 26
Johannes Brahms - Piano Quartet No. 3 in C minor, Op. 60